Tonight we had the chance to perform our newest number, “Accentuate the Positive” at Suite Sunday 2012: Vissi Gives Back. The performance was a charity event put on by Vissi Dance Theater, a modern company Brian dances with. We were thrilled when they invited us to perform a Lindy Hop routine. What a remarkable experience to perform in a beautiful space like St. Mark’s Church, where Lindy Hop does not normally exist. In an evening filled with modern dance and contemporary ballet, we surprised the audience with our rhythmic footwork and character-driven routine.
However the highlight of the evening may have actually been the after-party. The whole company went out to Gonzalez y Gonzalez to eat, drink, and dance to the tunes of DJ Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, an architect, music producer, DJ, international instructor, and featured House dancer in the documentary, Check Your Body at the Door. Bravo DJs a weekly event at the restaurant where house dancers pack in to dance and show their stuff. In the past, we have talked with Bravo about the roots of House dancing and how it all stems from Lindy Hop and jazz dancing. However, we had no idea that Bravo would get on the mic and ask us to give an impromptu performance for a room full of House and modern dancers. Even though the stage was just big enough for a swingout, our improvised performance to “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” was met with applause and warm reviews.
Tonight reminded us the importance of performing for non-social dancing audiences, not only to receive unbiased feedback, but to also spread the contagious joy that is social dancing. We believe that dancing should be universally appealing and should not require a trained eye to enjoy. While an opera, music, or wine appreciation class sounds very entertaining, we do not want to create the need for a “Lindy Hop Appreciation Class.” Enjoying should be natural and effortless.